Bow Down Before The One You Serve

With all of the bad news out there it’s good to finally hear some good news.

The kids at Calimesa Elementary School no longer have to bow down on one knee in front of school administrators before they are dismissed for the day.

Wait.

Wait!

What did I just write?

Apparently the school district thought that it would be a good idea to make kids kneel down before the principal and other school administrators at different points during the day. Here’s how one parent found out about the ordeal from her 7-year-old daughter.

“She says that she has to drop down on one knee with her hands at her side, wait for the principal to come out, lift his arms and tell them to go to class.”

Thankfully, several parents had a problem with this and they spoke out. As a result, the school has decided to no longer enforce what they called their “positive behavior intervention.” Now the only question that remains is this. Will the school district get a refund for all of that money they spent on the 90-foot tall golden statue of the principal and the fiery furnace for those young rebels who refuse to bend the knee (Daniel 3)?

I’m assuming that every kid bowed down to the principal. It seemed innocent enough, I’m sure. I mean it was called a “positive behavior intervention,” not “Communal Worship of the Beast.” And we’re told that all of that bowing was only done for purposes of safety and order. So I’m sure that most, if not all, just fell in line with the principal worship.

This is part of why parenting is so important. We exist for more than teaching manners and running a taxi service. We’re here to teach our kids to stand up. Even when all of their friends are kneeling down. Even when the principal demands that they kneel.

The demands to kneel, whether symbolically or physically, are legion.

Like the demand to kneel by keeping quiet about our faith. But, we must teach our children to be like Jeremiah and Paul. We must teach them to refuse to commit the hate crime of silence. We must teach them to stand.

If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9 (ESV)

Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Acts 17:16-17 (ESV)

But we cannot expect them to stand against all of the pressures to bow if we have been kneeling all along. If we are bowing to an ever expanding government by accepting its handouts, should we expect our kids to be any different?

If we neglect our responsibilities as husbands, wives and parents so that we can manage our 12 fantasy baseball teams or focus on “my time,” should we be surprised when our kids grow up to be irresponsible, selfish kids who are willing to bow before anything just so long as they get their way?

And if we are silent about our faith, bowing down at every 90-foot statue or overzealous principal in our path, we can be sure that our children will follow in our footsteps.

When I was a kid it seemed like every third commercial on TV was telling me not to do drugs. This is your brain on drugs and so forth. In one of those commercials a dad was yelling at his kid for getting caught with drugs.

“Where did you learn this? Who taught you this? How did you get these drugs?”

And then the climax.

“You! Alright, dad. I learned it from watching you.”

The commercial ended with the narrator telling us that, “Parents who use drugs have kids who use drugs.”

That’s not always the case but the point was clear. It’s clear in this case as well. And sometimes it keeps me awake at night.

If some self-important official asked my kids to bow before him, what would they do? Would they quietly do as they are told or would they remain standing, no matter the cost? I hope that they would do the right thing but until that day comes, it’s hard to know for sure.

But I can be certain of one thing.

They will probably do what they have seen me doing.

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